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Ventura County Focus | East County / SIMI VALLEY

Carpet Cleaning Ends in House Fire

April 21, 1998|NICK GREEN

All the Guillen family wanted was to have clean carpets in their Simi Valley home.

But now they will also need new siding and gutters as well as glass in a second-story window after a Monday afternoon blaze caused by an overheated carpet-cleaning machine almost burned down their $259,000 Wood Ranch home.

"The potential was incredible for this home to have burned completely," said Sandi Wells, a spokeswoman with the Ventura County Fire Department.

The fire caused no injuries, but resulted in $10,000 worth of damage to the home and $15,000 to the carpet-cleaning company's van, which was parked outside the home at the time.

The fire was noticed shortly before 1 p.m. when the carpet-cleaning employee came outside to get some supplies and found his van engulfed in fire, with the blaze making its way up the siding to the home's second floor.

"It was hot enough to actually shatter double-pane windows, which is very hot," Wells said. "The person who was there cleaning grabbed a garden hose and was in the process of keeping [the fire] where it was on the siding when we arrived on the scene."

Fire investigators determined a diesel generator in the van that powers the cleaning machine had ignited and caused the fire, Wells said.

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